Allrecipes.com has been my go-to recipe box for more than six years. Reading tips and reviews from other cooks has given me the confidence and freedom to experiment with my cooking and my family has benefited.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook desserts, but unfortunately in my family, I am most likely to eat those desserts, so I have eased up on those over the years.
For entrees, barbeque, Mexican and Italian are often on the menu for the day. I will try to keep those healthy and at a minimum complement those with nutritious side dishes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
So much of cooking is about traditions, isn't it? Christmas always comes to mind, in my home growing up, we had a long list of Christmas baking and candy recipes that I still use today.
My cooking triumphs
I grew up in a German/Irish/English family. Our spice cabinet did not go far beyond salt and pepper. In my early adulthood, spices sat in my own cupboard for years, eventually losing their flavor.
Over time, I have grown to love full-flavor in recipes and depend on spices to differentiate my dishes. My favorite source is Penzeys. If you have a store in your area stop in, go straight to the cinnamon jars and take in the aroma. It is the best way to discover that not all spices are the same. I encourage everyone to grow a few basic herbs - parsley and oregano for example and also have the confidence to experiment with flavor in your dishes.
My cooking tragedies
I once cooked a Rachael Ray chicken parmesan meal allotting 30 minutes. Two and 1/2 hours into it, I was worn out. It was my first realization that not all RR meals are 30 minutes. More than doubling the recipe didn't help either.